CrusadeIn 1268, Prince Edward took the Cross and prepared to go to the Holy Land. Against advice from members of the court, Eleanor decided to travel with her husband. They were supposed to have been joined by the French King Louis IX but he died from dysentery when an outbreak of disease broke out at the Crusders' camp at Carthage. While in Acre Eleanor gave birth to a daughter who was named Joan of Acre. But messengers arrived with bad news that both of their young sons, John and Henry, had died. The third messenger arrived with the news that King Henry III had died and that Edward had been chosen as the new King of England. Before travelling back to England, Eleanor gave birth to a son and named him Alphonso after he brother.
Return to EnglandEdward and Eleanor arrived back in England in 1274 to a warm welcome. But trouble in Wales saw them both travelling again. At Caernarfon Castle a son was born and named Edward. The Welsh accepted the child as the Prince of Wales and peace followed. With the death of Alphonso, Edward became heir to the English throne.
Scotland and the Maid of NorwayIn 1286 the Scottish king Alexander III died. He had no male heir and next in line for the Scottish throne was Alexander's grand-daughter Margaret, the Maid of Norway. Edward had arranged that his son Edward (II) was to marry Margaret and so unite the English and Scottish nations. Unfortunately Margaret died on the voyage to Scotland from her home in Norway. This left the Scottish throne vacant and the Scottish succession in dispute.
Illness and deathTowards the end of 1290 Eleanor became ill and she died on November 28th. Travelling with her husband in the damp and cold of the late Autumn in the north of England may have contributed to her death. She died at Harby, a short distance from Lincoln and the problem of how to transport her body back to Westminster quickly and in an appropriate manor had to be overcome. It took a couple of weeks for her body to be returned to London and at each location that the coffin rested overnight a cross was erected. These are now known as the Eleanor Crosses and some still exist.